Preceptors contribute to the future of health care by mentoring and coaching the next generation of professionals, and play a critical role in the training SAIT's School of Health and Safety provides.
For more information on becoming a clinical partner, please contact Jennifer Brown, Allied Health Practicum Coordinator.
"Learners value preceptors who possess broad knowledge of their field of expertise, but even more so, learners value preceptors who can explain complex material in a manner that is simple and concise. A preceptor demonstrates their knowledge as they discuss current developments, reveal broad readings, discuss divergent points of view, relates topics to other disciplines and can direct students to useful literature in the field."
(Stritter & Baker, 1982)
Our students receive many benefits while on their practicum, training and working alongside a preceptor:
- Participate in a variety of settings with patients and equipment
- Experience the "real world" of practice
- Socialization into the profession
- Gain competence and confidence
- Investigate employment opportunities
- Begin the transition from the role of student to graduate to new employee
Learners weigh in
"I think what was most helpful overall was that I was encouraged and steered towards finding my own way of performing methods while still adhering to the 'norms' of that department."
"My preceptor was very approachable. If you had a question, she would have an answer for you and not make it feel like it was something you should know. Also, if there was something she couldn't answer, she had no problem admitting that and then helping you find out."
"My practicum, thus far, has been a really good experience and I have been treated very kindly; I was even made to feel like part of the team rather than 'the student'. I was also encouraged to express whether or not a situation or schedule was working for me. They were very flexible and accommodating, which was much appreciated!"
Faculty also benefit from liaising with preceptors and practicum students:
- Network with a variety of preceptors and health care agencies
- Keep up to date on the changes of the profession through the preceptors
- Opportunity to facilitate and encourage preceptor and student growth
- Gain an understanding of health care delivery systems in the community
- Build ongoing relationships with health care agencies in the community
Faculty weigh in
"The value of preceptorship is to take you back to the time that you were a student. It re-focuses our attention to that of the learner, not the seasoned veteran health care professional. Through our preceptor courses, we learn how to transfer our vast amount of knowledge and experience to those students who will someday take our places in the health care field. I feel that I would not have been confident to teach today's students at SAIT without my preceptor courses behind me." (Former preceptor, current SAIT Instructor)
"As a SAIT faculty member, I have the opportunity to liaise with the preceptors, which allows me to keep up on current changes in my own profession and to build relationships through preceptor meetings and training sessions. By working closely with the practicum sites, I have the chance to see the how the preceptor is encouraging and developing the learner to become the next generation of health care professionals and this is exciting."
Preceptors benefit too
There are many personal and professional satisfactions that come with being a preceptor:
- Professional involvement in the teaching/learning process
- Validates and reinforces professional value and practice
- Stimulates innovative and improved practice
- Opportunity to step back and appreciate own contribution to the profession
- Contributions to future health care through influencing a student's practice
- Opportunity to network with other preceptors
Preceptors weigh in:
"It is a fact that our students are the future, and I want to be able to support the development of their knowledge and expertise so that the future of our medical field stays strong."
"I think, as a preceptor, I am passing on something of value to my students. I am passing on knowledge that not all people have. Some days I take my knowledge for granted and teaching new professionals reminds me the value of the things I have learned from my years of experience. Being a preceptor reminds me to look at things from a different perspective and with fresh eyes."
"What I have gained from being a preceptor is a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the discipline I work and teach in. It also has given me an opportunity to observe the many ways people learn new things. If you want to learn - teach."
"You gain a feeling of appreciation for teaching: Seeing a student feel nervous when they come to your site and leave with so much confidence. It is really rewarding."
"The position of preceptor has offered me a daily challenge in dealing with both the students and the work; rarely is the work boring. It has also forced me to learn the work thoroughly and to continue learning all aspects of the department; the student inadvertently pushes me to do better."
SAIT's School of Health and Public Safety is offering a 20-hour course designed to meet the needs of novice and intermediate preceptors, as well as to provide a refresher for more experienced preceptors. You will be enrolled in the course for a three year term which allows for flexibility to attain any mandatory continuing competency requirements and the time to apply the content, or to discuss situations with other preceptors in the field.
Course topics include:
- Roles of the preceptor
- Planning and organizing learning experiences
- Precepting strategies and methods
- Assessment techniques
- Communication strategies
- Conflict management
Professional development credits
Each professional association determines the number of credits granted for professional development. Contact the SAIT Instructor for your profession for details.
Practicum instructor contacts:
- Dental Assisting: Michelle Shaben, Anna King, Patricia Stoness or Stacey Chaisson
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Valerie West, Mark Rogers, Jennifer Chaudhary, Shannon Thomsen
- Emergency Medical Technician: Sheldon Thunstrom
- Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic: Gary Weselosky
- Health Information Management: Stephanie Clack or Lisa Proudfoot
- Medical Device Reprocessing Technician: Debbie Bloch or Bushra Ihtasham
- Medical Laboratory Assistant: Lori Cucheron
- Medical Office Assistant and Unit Clerk: Ronaye Kooperberg or Lori Hanninen
- Medical Laboratory Technology: Keri Huwald
- Medical Radiologic Technology: Sidsel Pederson, Heather Tye or Tammy Genier
- Medical Transcriptionist: Lori Hanninen or Ronaye Kooperberg
- Nuclear Medicine Technology: Laurie Walline, Jessica Rutherford or Glenda Laser
- Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant: Nancy Pullan or Karen MacIntosh
- Respiratory Therapy: Meredith Patey, Gregory Smith or Jennifer Stefura
Registration is on-going throughout the year. There are two ways to register:
- If you are precepting for a program in the School of Health and Public Safety, please contact the SAIT Practicum Instructor for your discipline. They will assist you with course information and registration details.
- If you are interested in taking the PDEV 190 course and do not assist in precepting Health and Public Safety students, please call 403.284.SAIT to register for a fee of $50.
While on practicum, students in SAIT's health and wellness studies programs work with experienced professionals in the various disciplines. These partners currently include:
- Alberta Health Services
- BC Interior Health Authority
- Blair, Stubbs & Associates
- Canada Diagnostic Centres
- Central Alberta Medical Imaging Services
- EFW Radiology
- Medical Imaging Consultants
- Radiology Associates
- Radiology Consultants Associated
- Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
- Saskatoon Health Region
- Vancouver Island Health Authority
- Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
- Champlain Integrated Health Network and Eastern Counties
- Diagnostic centres and medical laboratories throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg
- Fire, ambulance and emergency medical services in rural and urban Alberta communities
- Fitness and community recreation facilities
- Community pharmacies
- Private dentists and physicians throughout Alberta